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Stay Safe in the Heat

Summer in Maryland can be a lot of fun, but it can also bring some risks. Be prepared to take action to keep yourself and your family safe.


older man heat      Cooling Centers

When the weather is very hot, the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services and the Carroll County Public Library System operate cooling centers around the county. You can cool off in any of the following locations when they are open, even when there is not a heat emergency:

Citizen Services and county senior centers can be used as cooling centers Monday through Friday only:

  • Citizen Services Office Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster (8 AM – 5 PM)
  • Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
  • North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Hampstead (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
  • South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Rd, Eldersburg (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
  • Taneytown Senior and Community Center, 220 Roberts Mill Road, Taneytown (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
  • Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Ave, Westminster (8 AM – 4:30 PM)

For senior center contact information, visit

All Carroll County Public libraries can also be used as cooling centers, Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM– 8:45 PM; Friday and Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The Eldersburg and Westminster branches are also open on Sundays from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

  • Eldersburg Branch, 6400 Hemlock Drive, Eldersburg (also open Sunday from 1:00 PM- 5:00PM)
  • Finksburg Branch, 2265 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg
  • Mt. Airy Branch, 705 Ridge Avenue, Mt. Airy
  • North Carroll Branch, 2255 Hanover Pike, Hampstead
  • Taneytown Branch, 10 Grand Drive, Taneytown
  • Westminster Branch, 50 East Main St., Westminster (also open Sunday from 1:00 PM- 5:00PM)

For more library location information, visit

Air conditioning, water fountains, and restrooms are available at all of the cooling centers.

Be aware that these locations may be closed for holidays, severe weather, or other building issues. Other places you can go to cool down include stores, malls, restaurants, churches, movie theaters, and homes of friends and family.

 contruction worker heat    Heat safety tips 

  • Limit time outside, especially at the hottest time of day, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing and sunscreen SPF 15 or higher when outside.
  • Drink more water than usual. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Check on kids and elderly or disabled neighbors and family members.
  • NEVER leave a child, pet, or elderly person alone in a car, even for a minute. This can quickly cause heatstroke and even death. If you see a child, elderly person, or pet alone in a car, call 911.

For more information on staying safe in the heat, visit

Summer Storms

Check the weather and make sure you and your family are prepared for summer storms.

  • Find safe spots in your house without windows or doors, where you can shelter in a storm.
  • Keep cell phones charged. Make sure all family members know important numbers, and know how to text. Text messages can be easier to send in an emergency.
  • Have a kit with water (1 gallon per person and pet per day for 3 days), a flashlight, and a radio (a weather radio is best).
  • Plan for family members with special needs, like medical equipment that needs electricity.
  • Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check online for storm updates:
  • Make sure pets and farm animals have a safe place to shelter.
  • Keep your cars’ gas tanks filled.
  • Clear your yard of things that could blow around during the storm and damage your home, like grills, bikes, and patio furniture.
  • Know how to turn off your power and gas. If you see flooding or downed power lines, smell gas, or have to leave your home, switch them off.
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water for washing and flushing toilets in case you lose your water supply.
  • Lower the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer to keep food cold if the power goes out.

For more information on summer storms, visit

Power Outages / Energy Assistance

If your power goes out, report it to your power company. BGE: 877-778-2222,

Potomac Edison: 888-544-4877,

If you need help paying your energy bills, call Human Services Programs at 410-857-2999.


Water Safety

The water at beaches can sometime be contaminated with things that make people sick. Check for Maryland beach safety information and sign up for updates at

Keep kids safe at the beach or pool. Make sure an adult who can swim is actively watching the kids.

To keep pools clean and germ-free, wash off before entering the pool, stay out of the pool if you are sick, and change kids’ swim diapers often. Teach kids not to swallow pool water.

For more summer safety tips for kids, visit


Carroll County Health Department, July 2016